Tool will create a Web portal for disparate data sources

Tool will create a Web portal for disparate data sources



By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

A snap-together business intelligence platform under construction by Cognos Inc. of Ottawa will create a Web portal for mixed enterprise data.

The future platform will process heterogeneous data via four layers of cleansing, metadata modeling, analysis and presentation software.

Cognos product marketing director Mychelle Mollot said Cognos has re-engineered its existing PowerPlay and Impromptu software servers for the platform and has created several new servers. She said all the components are now in beta form and eventually will sell in customizable bundles at prices yet to be determined.

The platform components will come out first for Microsoft Windows NT Server, then for IBM AIX, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX and SunSoft Solaris, she said. They will be 'snap-on components that don't require redoing existing services,' such as data marts already built using products such as PowerMart from Informatica Corp. of Palo Alto, Calif., she said.

Personal touch

The browser interface can be personalized for authorized access anywhere, but it is managed from a single delivery point, Mollot said. Users could print their own reports from their browsers in Adobe Portable Document Format. Security services connect all four layers, defining user groups and privileges via the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

Mollot said the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Newport, R.I., has installed Cognos' PowerPlay Server in the current Web edition as an online analytical processing tool to show project managers how money is spent.

According to an NUWC statement, managers can see their work allocations, contract and maintenance costs, and planned and actual expenditures.

The center develops and tests submarines, autonomous underwater systems and weapons systems. It bills for its services to external users, which include other federal organizations, academic and corporate groups, and foreign governments.

'Authorized users can graph and download financial, personnel and other business information,' the statement said, instead of consulting paper reports or using predefined online query screens.

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